Monday, 19 October 2009

Levitt was worried about capital gains tax in May 2009

Our research has discovered that Tom Levitt asked questions about MPs' expenses and capital gains tax in the House of Commons in May of this year, just as the whole expenses issue was breaking out into the open.

You may remember this debate as being the one where the Speaker at the time, Michael Martin, was later heavily criticised for his behaviour, especially the way he dealt with Kaye Hoey MP and David Winnick MP. Earlier in the debate, the MP for Bassetlaw, John Mann, had sought to clarify whether an amendment he had proposed in an earlier session regarding MPs expenses and capital gains tax declarations would be valid (emphasis added):
On 3 July 2008, amendment (f), which I proposed, was agreed unanimously and without dissent by the House. It removed the ability of Members of the House to designate separate homes as main homes for capital gains tax purposes as opposed to main homes for expenses.
Later in the same session, Tom Levitt made his only contribution to the debate with the following (see the video above):
Further to the point of order raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (John Mann), Mr. Speaker. Whatever the outcome of the discussions he has with the House of Commons Commission, is it your belief that any such change on the question of the nomination of homes could not be retrospective and therefore would not apply to any of the information currently in the public domain?
Now we wondered at the time exactly what the point of all this was. But because information has been given to us revealing that Levitt avoided capital gains tax, it all starts to add up. Levitt is clearly concerned that any changes in the rules which were retrospective would land him with a large bill, not to mention the embarrassment it would cause. What other reason would Levitt have for intervening in the debate in such a manner?

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